The Wrath Of The Crones: A Roundtable About Which Game Of Thrones Characters Need To Die

Sam, it's time to go

Rachel: One thing I love about being a Ride or Die Crone is that we all watch and vaguely enjoy Game of Thrones, but also, we hate everyone on Game of Thrones. Roughly half of our podcast is devoted to tearing down a character most viewers see as harmless or toothless or handless or dickless, but whom we despise with the fire of 1,000 Tormund Giantsbane crotches. (The other half is devoted to dicks. The other other half is devoted to imagining what it might be like to have a consensual sexual relationship with Tormund Giantsbane.) Each week, we run out the Crones clock dropping nuclear bombs all over Westeros; there are never enough hours in the day to devote to Sam's fat nerdery or Tommen's unfathomable idiocy. As such, we thought it might be cathartic for us to tear down and imaginatively murder our Game of Thrones character of choice freely and without time constraints.

I'll start: My least favorite character, now and always, is Bran Stark. First of all, Bran is not a name, it's a cereal — and a terrible excuse for one at that. So right off the bat we have a problem. Secondly, Bran is simultaneously the whiniest and most privileged bitch this show has ever ignored for a full season (I WONDER WHY). Bran's life is truly amazing. It is the Best Life that Oprah foretold in the stars. Here is a day in Bran's life: Wake up — just kidding, never wake up, sleep forever. Nap all fucking day, swaddled in a really comfy fancy fur coat. Time-travel. See your dead family. Say what up. Ignore all time-traveling rules and restrictions, of which there are already only a few ("Don't say what up to your dead family"). Occasionally — VERY occasionally — open your eyes to demand hot tea or complain about your extremely luxe treehouse life. Be extra salty to your infinitely wise elders. Boss around the giant man who carries you everywhere and will ultimately save your sorry fucking life; sometimes enter his brain against his will. Don't acknowledge the young woman who's been dragging your skinny ass around in the snow for YEARS. If you do acknowledge her, make sure to belittle her and/or ask her for something, like hot tea. Lay back down in your comfy fur coat. On the rare occasion that you can't fall asleep, get really bored and accidentally destroy everyone's life.

Here is how I would murder Bran: I would have Hodor sit on him.

Leah: Speaking of privileged bitches we’d like to see murdered, Tommen Cruise is a privileged bitch I’d like to see murdered. Like his siblings, he is broken and there is something severely wrong with him. It almost seems as though he’s the spawn of twins who fucked a lot. Tommen Baratheon is simply too horny to function — no offense to intensely horny Game of Thrones fans everywhere — and he can no longer live on this Earth.

Here’s a list of things about Tommen I find deeply unbearable:

The way his palm was probably very clammy on his wedding day.

The way he loses his virginity.

The way he's like, "That was so fast!" and Margaery is like, "...yuh huh."

The way he presumptively asked (twice) if he “hurt” Margaery while losing his virginity.

The way he simply can’t be cool — Jesus Christ be cool, my dude! — during sex. He enthusiastically declares, “This is all I want to do all day, every day, for the rest of my life!” moments after losing his virginity.

The way he is too horny.

The way he offers Margaery “pom-y-granite” juice, pronouncing it like a baby. Did you or did you not just get to hit it for the first time?

The way he insists that he’s “a man now.” If you have to say it...

The way he can't get dressed by himself. Or he can, he just chooses not to.

The way everyone continuously refers to him as the Sweetest King Who Ever Lived. He is the Original Nice Guy, forever may he guilt trip women into talking to him after buying them unwanted drinks in a bar.

The way he throws a tantrum.

The way he makes this pouty li'l face when he doesn’t get his way.

The way he seems perpetually confused about what is or is not going on. Frankly, there is such a thing as a dumb question.

The way he shrieks, “I am the KING!” during yet another tantrum. Parents call these “meltdowns.”

The way he is blond. What man is blond? Yeah, right.

The way he is manipulated by Cersei.

The way he is manipulated by Margaery.

The way he is manipulated by the High Sparrow.

The way he is, and forever will be, a sweet little blond idiot trying to walk casually while simultaneously concealing a rock hard (but totally brand new so it’s a little bit exciting) boner.

But because Tommen Baratheon is arguably one of the lesser evils on this hell-show, he should die doing what he loves: fuckin'.

Crystal: I think we can all agree that a lot of the men on this show are incompetent, which is why we need Daenerys to clean house when she gets to Westeros in approximately 35 years. To be completely honestly, Tormund Giantsbane and Dolorous Edd are the only two men I would fuck with. I love you, Bran, but Rachel’s right: You ruined everyone’s lives because you wanted an unsupervised ride on the weirwood tree. And Tommen, you are a literal doormat whose greatest achievement as king has been marrying Margaery. Sure, Jon Snow gets a pass because we need him to swing his big Valyrian sword and kill some White Walkers (and preferably Ramsay Bolton). That, and I love Ghost and don’t want to see another direwolf in pain. Even my man Littlefinger fucked up the game last season when he practically sold Sansa to the Boltons. No amount of shiny Knights of the Vale will make up for that mistake, my friend. But at this point in the game of thrones, no one serves less of a purpose than Jaime Lannister.

Don’t get me wrong — the vision of the Kingslayer riding his steed up the steps of the Sept was probably the hottest thing this show has done since Jon went down on Ygritte in that cave. The man can certainly get it.

But for the last few seasons, Jaime has basically served zero purpose to the overall plot. At this point, he’s kind of a failure. He is the equivalent of a washed-up high school quarterback who is too scared of deflating his own ego to leave his small town. His father offered him a way out of this mess, and Jaime chose to stay in King’s Landing. You could be chilling at Casterly Rock right now, but you playin'. Why? So he could mess even more shit up? In Season 2, he got himself captured by Robb Stark. In Season 3, he got his hand severed by Locke. In Season 4, he raped his sister over their son’s dead body. Last season, Cersei sent him to Dorne, and that turned out to be a marvelous shitshow from start to finish. Even with Bronn by his side, Jaime accomplished nothing and still got his daughter Myrcella killed. This season, Cersei sent him to the Sept of Baelor to save Margaery, and again, he was outwitted. (To be fair, this was basically all Cersei’s fault, but since Jaime follows Cersei blindly into this kind of shit, he’s to blame too.) Even his own spineless son has realized Jaime’s worthlessness to the realm and fired him from the Kingsguard. Now he’s been sent to go babysit the Freys while they attempt to take back the Riverlands from the Blackfish. Looking at Jaime’s track record, I wonder how that will turn out. (Not good.) Honestly, I’m just waiting for Brienne of Tarth to take off his head — or his other hand — with Oathbreaker. There are no friends in Westeros; there are only people you want to kill less than others. Since she serves Lady Sansa now, the Lannisters are pretty much her mortal enemies. To be fair, she’s already kicked his ass once.

Here's how Jaime should die: Brienne will cut off his other hand with Oathbreaker when she finds out he's been sleeping with his twin sister on the DL and plotting against the Starks from the jump. This wouldn't necessarily end him...until he realizes that he can no longer hold a sword — flesh or steel — or perform his favorite sexual act with Cersei. That's what kills him.

(And yes, I’m still upset that he pushed Bran out of that window in Season 1. I’ve been known to hold a grudge.)

Teo: I’m going to have to disagree with you on that last point, Crystal — Jaime pushing Bran out that window is the most compelling argument for Jaime’s right to life. On the other hand, on last week’s podcast you suggested the possibility that Daenerys is the Hitler of Essos, and those signs do seem to bear out. Her family history of mass-murdering madness and her Führer-approved blonde hair and blue eyes aren’t helping her case here. She believes her right to rule is granted by her pure (targ)Aryan blood. She gives many rousing speeches in languages seemingly composed only of consonants. She’s hell-bent that it’s her destiny to take back the homeland, yet the extent of her plans to govern are to continually grow her increasingly ungovernable empire — although if you’re going to be a single-issue candidate, abolishing slavery is definitely a more defensible position than genocide.

I’ll admit, if Dany is a threat to the stability of the realm, she’s by no means as offensive to watch as some of the other demons and dingdongs sent from my personal hell who have found their way to being series regulars, like Sam and Bran. But while their terribleness is relatively self-contained (though I do consider Sam’s move into parenting to be a personal threat), Dany’s most heinous crime is that she opens a gateway into a cadre of truly unforgivable plotlines and characters.

She’s constantly proclaiming herself the white, blonde queen of all brown people. She “freed” an army of brainwashed and dickless warriors, provided no exit counseling, then immediately sent them back to war — and if I learned but one thing from the youth I lost to the Bush Years, it’s that our troops need mental health support on their way out of combat, not more combat. Dany’s dubiously acquired army of Dothrakis is a marauding rape-and-murder factory. Even taking Tommen into account, Dany is trailed by *the* hello-milady Nice Guy of this show’s many, many hello-miladying Nice Guys: Ser Jorah, who needs learn how to spell "sir" and also how to process rejection in a way that’s not just balefully staring at his decades-younger object of affection for five useless seasons. Dany’s actual boyfriend is hot, but I will never remember his name because he’s completely forgettable. Worse, he’s hot in the kind of way that makes you momentarily forget about the categorical awfulness of all men when he’s submissively stripping down to show off his beautiful body (though not showing his dick, of course, because Game of Thrones is only down for unwarranted and anonymous diseased dicks). And yet, dick or no dick, Dany’s dirty, hot, dirty-hot boyfriend is a bigger threat to my “all men are bad; witches and nuns only” stance than most of the inbred lumps on this show, so his presence must be eliminated — preferably in one fell swoop that also eliminates every plotline we’re following in Essos. (I mean really, who wants to watch more of Meereen?)

Plus, if Daenerys is dead -- smothered to death underneath a pile of her useless, clingy suitors -- her dragons will presumably roam the Game of Thrones universe untethered, continually growing until they’re eventually too big to be satiated by goats. And when that time comes, they’ll have to start eating all the other terrible characters on this terrible, terrible show, their dragon fire cleansing the realm until even raped, pillaged, and conquered Westeros itself can be considered pure again.

Inkoo: While Teo wants to see all of Westeros burn, I'd be content with just one death: that of Samwell Tarly. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever be treated to it, because the laws of Game of Thrones' grim, dark, nihilistic universe routinely bend over backwards to accommodate the stammering, tremorous heroism of this undeserving weenie.

While the show takes a "here's a rape, there's a rape, everywhere's a rape rape" stance toward its female characters, Sam is constantly given opportunities to prove his manhood — by killing a White Walker, by shooting an arrow into a wildling's face, by stealing his father's Valyrian sword (i.e., the family penis) — in ways that feel much more like fan service than something that'd occur realistically on the show. The most eye-rolly moment so far has been when he (with Ghost's crucial help) rescues Gilly from a rape at Castle Black and she rewards him with sex, because according to this dumb, dumb show, almost being raped is a huge turn-on for women, and doing the bare-minimum right thing as a dude means you deserve some lady's vag. It's only because he's a blatant Mary Sue for George R. R. Martin (fat nerds unite?) and a pretty obvious homage to a Lord of the Rings character that Samwell is still alive and brandishing his cock-surrogate around.

Side note to Gilly: I know you haven't had a whole lotta luck with love so far, but trust me: You can always do better than the rebound guy.

How Sam should die: By accidentally stabbing himself with Heartsbane, because that sword is way too big for him.

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